A leading scientific publisher has retracted 64 articles in 10 journals, after an internal investigation discovered fabricated peer-review reports linked to the articles’ publication.
Berlin-based Springer announced the retractions in an 18 August statement. In May, Springer merged with parts of Macmillan Science and Education — which publishes Nature — to form the new company Springer Nature.
The cull comes after similar discoveries of ‘fake peer review’ by several other major publishers, including London-based BioMed Central, an arm of Springer, which began retracting 43 articles in March citing “reviews from fabricated reviewers”. The practice can occur when researchers submitting a paper for publication suggest reviewers, but supply contact details for them that actually route requests for review back to the researchers themselves.